Rachad Akeil Leroy Holder was sentenced to 12 years in prison today.
Holder, of Orange Grove, St George pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the April 2009 death of Rudolph Knight.
In Holder’s statement, he said he and another male encountered Knight walking through a cart road. He told his co-accused that he knew Knight usually collected money from someone and they decided to rob him. The two armed themselves with rocks whilst the co-accused picked up a piece of wood and used it to strike Knight.
Holder said he took the money while his accomplice kept hitting Knight with the piece of wood. According to the statement, Knight was still living when they left him on the ground bleeding. The two split the $70 they stole from Knight and later heard of his death.
Holder maintained he did not hit Knight and just took his money.
He has two previous convictions for burglary – one in 2009 and 2010. His pre-sentencing report also mentioned his deviant behavior, drug abuse and association with block culture. His mother noted that “peer pressure is sometimes stronger than parental guidance”.
The report ranked Holder at a high level of re-offending.
Looking at the aggravating factors of the case, the court considered the prevalence of such offences and the use of the weapon.
Justice Pamela Beckles noted that even though Holder said he didn’t hit Knight, he did arm himself with rocks and blocked his path.
“You planted the seed resulting in the death of the deceased,” she said.
The mitigating factors considered were his guilty plea, his acceptance of responsibility and relative youthfulness and immaturity at the time.
As his guilty plea did not come at an early stage, he was granted a 15 per cent discount instead of the usual one third. This was deducted from the 12-year sentence leaving 3723 days. Time spent on remand (3287) was then taken into account leaving him with a balance of 436 days to spend in prison.
He was ordered by Justice Beckles to enroll in an educational programme.
The case was heard in the No. 5 Supreme Court where Crown Counsel Danielle Mottley prosecuted.